Alternatives to detention in law

Croatia nominates several alternatives to detention in its national legislation, which was introduced in 2012. These include the duty to surrender documents, to deposit sureties, to reside at a designated address and to undertake regular reporting. [1]

Further, a book of rules provides additional guidance to officials regarding implementation. [2]

Shelters and care arrangements for unaccompanied and separated children 

Accommodation and reception: unaccompanied minors stay at one of four open child centres in Croatia’s capital city Zagreb, Split and Osijek Rijeka. In July 2014, the Croatian government enacted the EU Directive that alternatives to detention must be pursued for all children by building open houses in the community for families with children to stay in while resolving their migration status.

Guardians: Child foreign citizens found on the territory of the Republic of Croatia without a legal guardian shall be appointed with a special guardian by the Center for Social Welfare to protect particular personal and proprietary rights and the interests of the child concerned (Article 167, para 1 of the Family Act).

The guardian is usually from the government social welfare department, most commonly based in Zagreb. Guardians will have between 2 – 12 children in their care and they also work as social workers.

Find out more: 

[1] European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Rights: Challenges and Achievements in 2012, (Vienna: EU FRA, 2012).

[2] European Migration Network, The Use of Detention and Alternatives to Detention in the Context of Immigration Policies: Synthesis Report for the EMN Focused Study 2014, (European Commission, 2014).

There are alternatives cover

Over the past five years, the IDC has undertaken a program of research to identify and describe a number of positive alternatives to immigration detention (‘alternatives’) that respect fundamental rights, are less expensive and are equally or more effective than traditional border controls.

This research, entitled There are alternatives, provides readers with the guidance needed to successfully avoid unnecessary detention and to ensure community options are as effective as possible.

This text was published in September 2015.